I must first apologize for the lengthy delay between my posts. I have been extremely busy! Busy with my life. You know? Work, kids, home, and men! Last week marked the first anniversary of my journey as a single parent. I took the day off as a day of recollection, but got swamped with many personal errands I had to run.
As in the case of most of us, I did not choose this path for myself. I thought I was doing the right thing by waiting to have children after I have married. That has proven useless. In this one year, I have learnt so much about being independent and dependent at the same time. I've learnt when to put my big girl britches on, and when to let the tears flow freely like a baby's. Below are 10 things I learnt about how to survive being a single mother.
Build Your Team
You will need a solid team of individuals behind you. The "I told you so" and "He was no good" does not make the situation any easier. Surround yourself with positive individuals. Some on the inner circle of your life, and some on the outskirts. Root out the naysayers and the untrustworthy. You feed off the energy others send so it is important to surround yourself with the right kid of energy.
Self sufficiency is the aim of the game. You want to be able to take care of your kids and live a little every now and then. The job market is rough right now but try to align yourself in one where you can acquire transferable skills. And don't hang your eggs in one basket. Hustle. If you have side ventures going, you will weather the storm better if you should somehow lose your main source of income.
Ask for Help
Contrary to the above post, we have to depend on others at times. No man is an island. And neither is woman. We need help from time to time. If you try to go it alone you WILL fail. Trust me. No one ever got where they are on their individual merits.
Get rid of your fear and do something you've always been afraid to do. Go back to school and get that degree you've been thinking about. Start that business others said would never get on the ground. Get that haircut he did not want you to get. Wear a bikini if you feel so inclined. I like Nike's slogan: Just do it!
I know not everyone believes in the same deity if any at all, but there is something comforting in knowing that a bigger force is operating in your life. For those of us who believe in God, Allah, Buddah, whoever, we pray to the great one because it decompresses our thoughts, hopes, anxieties. It sends it out there into the universe with a relief of having shed some of our burden and with the expectation of having it heard and returned to us in the form of granted favors. Kind of a simplistic view on prayer, but it would be comparable to paying a shrink to listen to you for an hour, and only to have left with the answers you've figured out for yourself in the space of that time.
Your life, if it was not hectic before, is now out the bazoo crazy! You are doing the job of not one, but two. And if you ascribe to the village and child theory, then you are doing the job of an entire village. So you will need to have your stuff together so you can function and be efficient. Your time is your most precious resource. It is very limited and must be split a number of ways so learn to use it wisely.
Yes, there will be times when you feel overwhelmed. Times you feel like you're just going to lose it. I've blogged about a few of those times here on this site. But it's ok. Take the time you need for yourself to rest, recuperate, regroup, and rejoin the battlefield. Life is a constant battle, and if you are constantly fighting you will get burnt out. Don't feel guilty for taking some time for yourself. Every once in a while you should do something for yourself. Go partying with your girlfriends, or take a weekend getaway by yourself.
Recently I checked into a luxurious suite just a few minutes away from my house. That night, I slept on a cloud! I felt like a new woman as I left that hotel. I felt ready to face the crap that was ultimately destined to be thrown at me. It was one night of solitude, peace, and quiet, and I swear I am going to do it as often as I can.
Don't Worry. Be Happy
We spend so much of our time worrying it's unbelievable. I myself am a worrier and it is no wonder I suffer from high blood pressure. I will sleep and wake with the same thoughts of "what if's" and "how can I do this". We have to train ourselves to believe that everything will be ok once we do what we need to get done. My mantra is to do what I can, when I can, for as long as I can, and leave the rest up to God.
One way of moving forward with your life is to let go of the past. I have come to a point where I talk about my STBE less and less. I sometimes find myself forgetting some painful events between us in the past. I don't get that tightness in my chest and gall in my throat the way I did before. I have moved on. And to what I understand it is clear to EVERYONE that I have moved on. I am glowing and showing like I never did before. I'm not happy but I am getting there. I've learnt to let go and let God.
Get Out There
Not saying you should rush to find the next Mr. Right, or even Mr. Right Now. What I am saying is that you should network with your friends to find out what kind of market it is out there so when you feel ready you know how to charm someone. It is a skill some are blessed with naturally, but most of it is from trial and error. Go out and enjoy meeting random strangers. Get your flirt on. It is a confidence booster to have someone interested in you so much that they would wanna try to get to know you. There is nothing more shameful to me than social awkwardness, particularly in dating. I have a friend who just cannot land a second date ever because she has been off the market for so long and has no clue whatsoever about wooing the opposite sex. SMDH!!!
Survival Bonus: Breathe
Literally. When we are tense our breaths become rapid and short. We do not get enough oxygen to our lungs. Our heart races to pump blood even faster to circulate oxygen throughout our body. So we have headaches, elevated blood pressure, dizziness, and a general feeling of being unwell as a result of this. Take the time to practice deep breathing. Train yourself to recognize when you are being agitated and slow your breathing.
Monday, August 22, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
And so it was that he has come back into the picture. HSS. Not totally. More like a partial eclipse. We have come to a mutual understanding I think. We will never be rid of each other. It took and entire night of fighting to get there, and fucking to nurse the wounds from the fighting.
I had mentioned that he contacted me a couple Saturdays ago, saying that he wanted to see me and wanting to know if we were really through. We had agreed on a late dinner, as I was busy running around with the kids all day. So we met up, and got some food. I was so tense and uncomfortable. I did not even order anything, I just picked off his plate (which annoyed him ...LOL!). Eventually we went back to my place.
I was past the point of expecting anything great, just going with the flow. I left him to go take a shower, a long one at that, so I could get relaxed. When I returned, we talked. We talked, and we argued. He called me selfish for telling him I was done with him because he was emotionally unavailable when he was going through his thing. He told me that he went to a therapy session with his mother to deal with some abandonment issues that he had. He definitely sounded a lot better since the last time I saw him. He'd put on some weight though and did not hesitate to call himself fat. I did not feed into it and ignored the comments.
The issue of me seeing others came up. He said that his ego was still finding it hard to accept but at the same time it would be selfish of him to not expect me to want to see others. He admitted that he was unavailable due to his hectic schedule, and until he was done with his degree and settled into a decent job it will probably remain hectic. He did indicate that down the road he would be open to becoming more serious, but right now he was incapable of doing so.
He talked about me and my tone of voice when I speak to him. I admit, I do come across as being bossy and according to him, a know it all. He said it was as if I was talking to my kids and I needed to realize that he is a grown man. I tried to tell him that I do not mean any disrespect and most times I do not even realize how I may come across to others. It was futile. He still went on and on til he ignored me and would not respond to my questions. I got up and walked out on him a couple of times. Went to sleep for an hour then got up and went back to him and we argued some more. After all the arguing I decided it was fruitless. He was in my home. It was very late. I was exhausted but super horny. I was determined to have my ever present thirst placated. I was going to get some. I walked back out to the den where he was watching TV and I asked him if he intended to have sexual relations with me that night.
He laughed at my very blunt and to the point question and then countered with a statement that led to our second major disagreement. He said he was bordering on categorizing our relationship as one of two things: a genuine friendship where we express our love for each other physically from time to time, or just a sexual arrangement. I responded by telling him that I thought we had a sexual arrangement and we were friends as well. I told him it had been a while for me and I was in need, so here he was and here I am and I was ready. He went on for a while, accusing me of treating him like a piece of meat, and saying that he was not even sure if we should continue with this so I relented and retreated to my bedroom hoping he would join me soon, which he did.
I had my back turned to him as he fiddled with the remote. Eventually I felt his hands wander all over my body, caressing me in the most intimate places. I was mad. I hate arguing. I did so for nine years with my STBE and here I was doing the same with a man I was not committed to. It was emotionally draining, and my body was so stiff. But the stiffness did not last too long as I found myself melting in the warmth of his touch. I turned my body to face him as he slowly kissed me, making a trail down my anatomy. He finally stopped at my fertile crescent, softly kissing each side of my triangle, and then parting my engorged lips like an unfurling flower, after which he dove in and feasted on the sweet nectar from my stigma. I moaned as I felt my inner thighs quiver with each flicker of his soft, warm, tongue. Needless to say, I was in heaven. Total bliss.
We made love to Sade's "No Ordinary Love" playing in the background. I was not even aware of it at first, but mid-thrust he stopped and stared into my eyes, shook his head, and laughed. I guess he agreed with Sade. When we climaxed I was in tears. He asked me over and over if I was OK. I kept insisting I was fine, but the truth is that I did not know if I was. I did not know what was to become of us, since neither one of us wants to end this. He held me close to him and I listened to his heart beating, trying to see if it was in sync with mine.
We rested for a little while and went back at it until about mid-morning when he told me he was going to be late for work. I did not want to stop. I wanted to go on forever, but I knew I could not. We showered and parted ways with a kiss. And now we are back in limbo. I have not called him since. I know that this is as far as it goes with him. As long as he is feeling unsettled, we will be unsettled. There is no denying that we love each other very much. But sometimes love is not enough. I will keep him close to me as I continue to keep my options open.